Archive for August, 2005

Live at GenCon ’05: Privateer Press Announcement

Saturday, August 20th, 2005

Matt Wilson of Privateer Press announced the upcoming release of their new miniatures game called Hordes. Check out the video of the announcement and the figures.

Privateer Press Hordes announcement (Quicktime required)

Live at GenCon ’05: Ryan Miller on Hecatomb

Saturday, August 20th, 2005

We dragged lead Hecatomb R&D guy, Ryan Miller, to the back recesses of the press room to find out more about Hecatomb. Check out this video clip of the full interview.

Ryan Miller on Hecatomb (Quicktime required)

Live at GenCon ’05: Things I saw today that I didn’t wave a microphone at

Friday, August 19th, 2005

So I spoke with Avalon Hill brand manager Linda Cox at length today – she didn’t want to be on the podcast, citing excessive self-consciousness, and since she’s not on the podcast, I actually had to remember what she said. We mostly talked very generally, though. Axis & Allies Miniatures has of course become one of the monster hits of the con, selling out its daily allocation in about an hour each day. I tried to get her to spill about the Seekrit Projekt alluded to in that Robo Rally article a while back; no go. Mostly we talked about the perceived “lightness” of AH’s current offerings compared to its history. I came away from the conversation a little dubious about the claims that hardcore wargamers welcomed this game as a good introduction to historical gaming for beginners (probably a few did, but come on), but confident that AH is doing the right things right now. Avalon Hill’s market is at a point where it needs to be grown aggressively, and you aren’t going to bring in new people by, say, reprinting Kingmaker. (My out-of-nowhere example, not Ms. Cox’s.) Games like A&A Minis and Nexus Ops stand a chance to do that.

Uhh… what else. Laughing Pan‘s Plunder card game looks awfully good, and it’s always telling when you see random people playing it in random places, which I have. Same for FFG‘s totally freaking enormo Descent. I still need to poke through the Forge offerings some more, such as the new edition of Primetime Adventures. FanPro has that new edition of Shadowrun and it’s selling quickly, as is (yes, folks, it’s) the Serenity RPG by Margaret Weis Productions, Ltd. And uhhh, Star Wars Universe, which, like Rocketmen, is not technically a show release. I will think of more when I am more well slept okay. More video coming shortly.

Live at GenCon ’05: Peter Adkison Speaks

Friday, August 19th, 2005

On Thursday, we members of the press were treated to an informal press conference and QA with Peter Adkison: Owner and CEO of GenCon. For the first time, we have video footage of his short presentation.

Peter Adkison speaks (Quicktime required)

Live at GenCon ’05: A Tour of the Forge, and other things

Friday, August 19th, 2005

I must say I feel a little bad. I completely missed the guys at The Forge at GenCon SoCal last year, and they had some new items. Not wanting to make the same mistake twice, I stopped in to take a look at what they had for GenCon Indy.
(more…)

WizKids to publish Battlestar Galactica CCG

Friday, August 19th, 2005

WizKids announced its plan today to develop a Battlestar Galactica CCG based on the Sci Fi Channel TV series. The game should be ready for release in early 2006, and will be supported by the WizKids Approved Play program, but aside from that, details are sparse. The press release is below, and Steve and Mike will hit up the WK guys for more info. We’ll see if any other licenses spill out of the rest of GenCon.
(more…)

Delta Green on the distributed-patronage tip

Thursday, August 18th, 2005

Delta Green and GODLIKE author Dennis Detwiller has created a fundraiser with a goal of $500, with the project released upon achievement of the goal set to be a… uh… that part isn’t clear actually. Yeah, I think this kind of thing might work better if the page where you ask for money tells people what they might conceivably get. It is probably Insylum, which is all over his front page as of this writing (confidential to D.D.: not having permalinks on your blog is very very bad and kills kittens, please fix okthxbye) and looks very cool indeed.

World of Warcraft CCG rights go to Upper Deck

Thursday, August 18th, 2005

The fine people who brought you Yu-Gi-Oh! will now be bringing you the CCG – sorry, that’s TCG – based on the most popular MMPORPG in America. I think of Blizzard’s work generally as video gaming’s epitome of both class and mass appeal; I am not convinced that Upper Deck is a great match on that score, but then again, they are the first not to make a total mess of superheroes in CCG-land, so it’s probably time for me to reevaluate them. This comes out in spring. And hey, if any of you play WoW and see a gnome named Oompal anywhere, kick him in the nuts for me. [EDIT: Upper Deck’s site is slow right now, so we’ve copied the press release below]
(more…)

Live from GenCon ’05: Jesper Myrfors and Peter Adkison on Clout Fantasy

Thursday, August 18th, 2005

I had a chance to sit down with Jesper Myrfors and Peter Adkison of Hidden City Games about Clout Fantasy – a game of dexterity and strategy for two or more players. This game is unique in that it uses a collectible poker chip that features high quality artwork.

I started out asking Jesper and Peter to describe Clout Fantasy for those of us who had never heard of the game. Jesper described it as a strategy game that uses poker chips… that are thrown. Twenty five points are spent on fifteen chips – like building an army. All the chips are used in the course of playing a game. Unlike Magic where there’s an element of “luck of the draw,” any one of the chips can be played at a time. A chip could be played in response to a chip played by an opponent, or it could be played as part of a longer term strategy.

I asked Peter what attracted him to this project. He said that he is always looking for games that take various themes in totally new and interesting directions. Clout Fantasy took the fantasy and collectible idea in a completely different direction.

I asked them why they chose the fantasy theme. Jesper said that the short answer was the fantasy theme is familiar and easily grasped by the gaming community. He said that the Clout system could work with any theme, but he chose to start with the fantasy theme because it would make the game more accessible. I asked where they envisioned this game in the future, wondering if there were plans for different themes. Peter said there were indeed plans for different themes for Clout. Jesper added that they would all be compatible with Clout Fantasy. Peter mentioned that they were looking into purchasing licenses and that some of these themes might target a younger audience.

I had to ask about organized play. Peter was quick to say that he really liked the competitive aspect of Clout Fantasy, but saw it as more of a game that one would play with a bunch of buddies over beer and pretzels. He didn’t rule out organized play, but said that it wasn’t going to be a focus.

So what do you get for your hard earned dollar? Well, for about fifteen smackers you can buy the starter kit which includes two sets of fifteen chips (enough for two players), a measuring tape, and a rule book. Boosters will retail for a couple bucks and contain two chips (a much better price point than previously feared).

As a side note, Mike can’t get audio uploads to work from his laptop, so the podcast from the show floor will likely come in one big piece sometime next week. He would have posted about this himself, but from his position face down on the bed, I think he is saying, “Too bitter to post.” So we might hear from him later tonight. It’s sad when a computer defeats a man.

Live at GenCon ’05: Welcome to Indy

Thursday, August 18th, 2005

I was sent ahead to check things out on the day before opening day. After getting my hotel situation straightened out, I wandered around the Indianapolis Convention Center, getting myself reacquainted and reoriented. Overall it looks like it’s going to be a pretty good convention. The attendance looks good and the registration line seems to be moving a lot faster than in previous years.
(more…)

Live at GenCon ’05: Ticket to Ride wins Diana Jones Award

Wednesday, August 17th, 2005

The winner has just been announced as Alan Moon’s Ticket to Ride by Days of Wonder, in what was the shortest Diana Jones Award ceremony yet (probably so the celebrating can commence). Runners-up were the other shortlisted nominees, Code of Unaris by Goldleaf Games and Dogs in the Vineyard by Lumpley Games. Steve was on hand for the announcement, and he’ll have an update soon with photos, so check back later.

Hecatomb First Look

Wednesday, August 17th, 2005

A couple of us Cave dwellers got to play around with some Hecatomb TCG starters early last week. You would’ve heard about it in our OgreCave Audio Report last week if not for the aforementioned pooch-screwage. Now that I’m back from a cross-country jaunt, let me summarize what conclusions we came up with about WotC‘s latest CCG experiment.
(more…)

That board game WizKids was going to do

Wednesday, August 17th, 2005

Yup. Tsuro looks very decent, probably more tactical and tense than the games it reminds you of… and for the components, the price is certainly right. But I can’t help but wonder if this is really where WizKids should go. I mean, for all the crap we give them, they are actually pretty much doing all the right things right now: experimenting a lot, phasing out old products gradually, and developing successful ones sensibly. But the “family” board game market is crowded, muddled, and not a place where one can make a big splash without considerable marketing moxie. And maybe that’s exactly what they’ll bring to bear… if they didn’t already blow all their margin on those nice components. Streets in September.

Another blow struck in struggle to separate RPG design from publishing

Tuesday, August 16th, 2005

Legends of Alyria is a complete roleplaying game, not only published free on the web, but published using a free, automated tool. As the game’s creator says, “[W]hile I like the idea of game design, increasingly I’m finding that I don’t care for game production and promotion. I don’t have the time, energy, or desire to put into it, at this point.” If more RPG creators would give in to their laziness, I think both the RPG industry and the RPG hobby would be in better shape.

James Ernest and Mike Selinker choose interesting name for new high-end publisher

Tuesday, August 16th, 2005

With a press-release headline like “Titanic Games Takes to the Water – New Board and Card Game Company,” I happily admit that I had my knives out. I mean, come on, wouldn’t you? However, it merely appears that one of the best design teams out there has found a couple of people willing to bankroll a proper publishing company. Said publisher will do nice things like that long-fantasized-about deluxe version of Kill Doctor Lucky, the lavish-sounding (and shockingly Vegas Showdown-esque) Dust and Sin, and an “anthology game” called Stonehenge featuring five designs for the same components by Ernest, Selinker, and three other names that truly make it an all-star cast. I am kind of assuming that the industry vets behind the cheekily named new company do actually know what they’re doing, despite the crazy expense of this opening lineup. If they pull it all off I’ll be ecstatic – this is the kind of action we need.